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Investors with too many options?

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  • Dorn, Daniel

Abstract

During the last decade, markets for covered warrants (bank-issued options) have flourished in Europe and Asia. In these markets, investors often face a choice between many instruments that differ only slightly from each other. Based on retail trades in call options on the German DAX index, this paper documents substantial price dispersion across securities that are close substitutes. Moreover, investors generally fail to identify attractively priced options. The results suggest that the observed product proliferation imposes a substantial search cost on investors even though the products are homogenous and their pricing is well understood. The search cost is estimated to average 1% of the amount invested, the same order of magnitude as the average spread. JEL Classification: G11, G13, D83

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1197.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101197

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Related research

Keywords: investor behavior; OTC derivatives; price dispersion; search costs;

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  1. Choi, James & Madrian, Brigitte & Laibson, David I., 2010. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," Scholarly Articles 4686775, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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  4. Jenke ter Horst & Chris Veld, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of the Pricing of Bank Issued Options versus Options Exchange Options," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(2), pages 288-314.
  5. Daniel Dorn & Paul Sengmueller, 2009. "Trading as Entertainment?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 591-603, April.
  6. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  7. Allen M. Poteshman & Vitaly Serbin, 2003. "Clearly Irrational Financial Market Behavior: Evidence from the Early Exercise of Exchange Traded Stock Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 37-70, 02.
  8. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  9. Bartram, Sohnke M. & Fehle, Frank, 2007. "Competition without fungibility: Evidence from alternative market structures for derivatives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 659-677, March.
  10. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Utkus, Stephen P. (ed.), 2004. "Pension Design and Structure: New Lessons from Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199273393.
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